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review pompeii 2014

[Review] Pompeii: The volcano put us out of our misery

At the heart of Pompeii is a film about gladiators, love, revenge and one angry volcano.

In theory it sounded like the perfect film to fill the sword and sandals void in my recent movie watching.

Unfortunately, to my disappointment, Pompeii was a complete disaster.

Pompeii is set in 79 AD and centers around a boy who watches his entire family massacred, is taken into slavery where he is turned into a gladiator, and ultimately seeks revenge against the Roman soldiers who killed his family.

The problem with Pompeii however, begins with the story. I imagine that the writers of this film Googled a list of the most clich├ęd plot narratives, wrote them out on index cards and then arranged them out on a table and called it a movie.

The script felt very thin, as if they wrote about 60 pages and then decided that director Paul W.S. Anderson could just fill in the rest with shots of landscape and people running for their lives.

Unfortunately that plan didn’t work because the visual style of this film felt like a TV movie. The direction and cinematography just felt awkward most of the time.

I absolutely love Kit Harrington in Game of Thrones, but he and the other actors really didn’t have much to work with here and most of the performances fell flat.

I also love Kiefer Sutherland and have a soft spot for Jack Bauer and 24, but I have no idea what the person that cast him in the role of Roman Senator Corvus was thinking.

When Mount Vesuvius finally erupted, and by erupted I mean it started shooting fireballs like a giant cannon, I was rooting for it to put an end to this mess of a film.

By the end as Milo and Cassia were running for their lives from molten lava and fire, I realized that I was really just watching a dull ancient Roman remake of Jack and Rose in Titanic.

Pompeii had the promise of being everyhing I was looking for, but ultimately didn’t deliver on anything.

2.5 Stars (2.5 / 5)